Joe Wicks must be loving all this. With everyone confined to their homes he is starting to become the man who would be king. If his home workout videos spread far and wide enough and then he becomes and MP he’s a shoo in for next Prime Minister. Of course strictly speaking only a maximum of 50% of the adult population of Britain can ever love Joe Wicks because, and let’s just be honest here, he’s not really a guys kind of a guy. And if that may not be strictly true I can see that his image and approach certainly caters more specifically for the ladieeezzz out there. In the end there will be millions of women glued to his every move and while they may not actually get a lot fitter they will at least be wetter than Stevie Wonder’s toilet seat by the time the lockdown is lifted.
Before you start accusing me of being some male chauvinist pig then let me reveal that even I am being lured towards the kind of exercise that no self respecting tough guy (you’ll just have to indulge me) would normally poke at with a shitty stick. You see Wifey bought me a fitness contraption called a Wonder Core Smart for Christmas. I think it was a thank you for the time I bought her the lawnmower, a machine she has not touched once in all the years we have had a lawn. I can understand the move, of course, because I only go to the gym at least four times a week and usually come back drenched in sweat, so I could do with the exercise. Perhaps she thought I’d been entering a string of local wet t-shirt competitions or had joined a bobbing for apples club.
If you want to know what the Wonder Core Smart looks like then you’ll have to internet it because I can’t be bother to describe it. What I can tell you is that it comes with a DVD which gives you two whole workouts depending whether you want to be mildly challenged or if this is your first exercise since ending a month long hunger strike. To say the soft option is soft is like calling Philip Schofield a bit sensitive. It features not one but three fit people. Leader of the pack, in hot pants and not much else, is the phenomenally American Jessica Starr, who is described as a ‘celebrity fitness trainer’. Behind her to her right is someone that may as well be her twin sister and on her other side is a muscular Ken type who seems to have lost his shirt but who also seems to be very happy that he has lost his shirt. It also looks as if he’s trying to keep warm by applying some lotion to his upper body.
Throughout the 30 minute workout Jessica’s friends offer absolutely nothing extra, they just imitate her semi pornographic moves and grin insanely. Perhaps they were feeling lonely. There is not one minute where anyone seems to even imagine they are breaking a sweat and yet they have scheduled in very regular water breaks. Indeed Ms Starr insists you have water ready at all times in case you become so weak and dehydrated that you can’t even make it to the kitchen. And yet this is not exercise, this is more just not sitting still for half an hour.
Missing the gym as I do and not wishing to destroy my knees running every day I thought I would at least try the tougher option, which is called the advanced workout and is hosted by Jordan Nevels, who apparently is also a ‘celebrity fitness trainer’. What are the chances? He too is a fan of drinking seven times more liquid than you’re ever likely to sweat out but at least he doesn’t use Jessica’s method of a klaxon going off every three minutes and the screen flashing “WATER BREAK”. Jason seems like a nice guy and he wins an extra point because he remembered to bring a t-shirt to work. His special skill is to hypnotise you into feeling the burn by staring deep into your soul just when he senses you’re about to give up.
As he guides you through a series of semi-strenuous events (during which he adjusts the intensity level on his devise with far more ease than I could on mine) he constantly refers to the Wonder Core Smart by its full name, as if to make sure you don’t get confused and start trying to copy him using a cheese grater or an alarm clock. If anything he talks a bit too much, does Jason, and sometimes you can tell that he doesn’t really have any words left in him but feels that his motivational magic will fade away if he doesn’t keep explaining to you what exercise is and what good you’re doing for your core and that you’re doing really well. Like all fitness instructors he has a very poor sense of the passing of time and often the last ten seconds felt like a couple of hours and in his defence the whole routine did work up a bit of heat but I know, and you know too, that it’s going to take a lot more than that to keep the calories away. They say it might be like this until June and if that turns out to be true we’ll need a lot more than Jessica and Jason to keep us trim through a permanent smile. Jesus Christ, is it still March?
G B Hewitt. 29.03.2020